So you want to go green (or maybe just greener). It can be hard to know where to start. After all, it might seem like anything short of moving to a commune where you weave your own clothes and make compost will never be good enough. Well, we’re here to hopefully show you that there’s a nice middle ground where you can be practical while showing Mother Earth that you care. Take a look at the first six steps you can take towards more natural living.
First things first. It’s time to learn. While some things might be obvious (recycling), it’s also important to educate yourself on stuff that might be less obvious, like the effects of fast fashion or the chemicals in artificial scents. Thankfully, we live in the era of Netflix and podcasts where there is no shortage of documentaries to help you learn about what’s harming our environment and how we can make more sustainable choices. Plus a quick perusal of the internet can teach you to recognize the harmful chemicals that may be in products you use every day.
In the wake of all the new information you find, it can be easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many problems and you’re just one person, right? Wrong. We can all do our part to make our little planet called Earth stick around a little longer. But you don’t have to do everything all at once. Choose a handful of actionable items that can be easy to stick to. Maybe you start only using reusable bags at the grocery store. Or maybe you make the switch from candles to diffusion and (cough, cough) essential oils. Whatever you decide, make sure it’s something you know you can stick with. Then you can continue to make small changes without breaking the bank or your will.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
We all know the phrase. But we tend to focus most of our energy on that last one: recycle. What about the other two? They do come first in the saying, so maybe it’s time to put more of our energy into reducing and reusing. A quick look at our trash can at the end of the week (or day) can give us a good idea at just how much waste we are producing. Hopefully, you’ll find ways to reduce consumption, whether it’s buying some items in bulk or spotting those things that should have made into the recycling bin, but didn’t.
Ditch the Plastic
If there’s one thing that just about everybody can agree is bad for the environment, it’s plastic. Depending on what kind, it can take anywhere from 10 to 1000 years to decompose. What’s also a problem is that it often releases harmful chemicals, like BPA, as they degrade. A simple way to cut down on plastics is to eliminate the disposable items. Instead of using new plastic bags for every trip to the grocery store, invest in some quality reusable bags. Instead of unwrapping a new straw with every soda, keep a reusable one hand (they even make collapsible ones for convenient storage). And instead of plastic food storage that’s sure to stain or lose its lid, build a collection glass containers. You could even swap plastic wrap and sandwich bags for reusable beeswax wraps. There are a variety of simple ways to ditch the plastic and live the green life.
Shop Used Instead of New
Did you know it takes 2700 liters of water to make one cotton t-shirt? Then think about how many new items of clothing in your closet you haven’t even worn yet (no judgment here, we’re all guilty). But maybe it’s time to consider the amount of resources and labor it takes to make new consumer products. By shopping used, you can save money, reduce waste and support a local charity while you’re at it. And if scouring your local thrift store isn’t your idea of fun, you can also check out consignment shops or online marketplaces.
Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
A quick look into green living can tell you that it’s… well… expensive. Going full green may not be feasible for the average family. And that’s okay. But there are still many opportunities to use your purchasing power to say something. Maybe you shop cosmetics brands that don’t test on animals and use natural ingredients. Or instead of hitting up your favorite fast fashion store, you check your local thrift stores instead or shop sustainable brands. No matter what, you’ll be sure to find brands that are committed to transparency and making the world a better place.
Further Reading for Going Green
- Essential Oils and How They Support Green, Non-Toxic Living
- Plant Therapy’s Commitment to Sustainability
- Spring Cleaning with Our Deodorizing Blend
- Spring Cleaning with Essential Oils: A Complete Guide
- Get to Know Our Cleaning Set: All the Oils You Need to Get Started Cleaning!
Head to our Facebook group, Safe Essential Oil Recipes (SEOR) for more amazing ways to use essential oils on your journey to greener living!